Australian reporter tears into Trump’s performance at G-20

President Trump declared his trip to the G-20 summit a “great success.” Chris Uhlmann, the political editor for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, saw it a bit differently.

“We learned that Donald Trump has pressed fast-forward on the decline of the United States as a global leader,” Uhlmann said on air in a segment that has gone viral. “He managed to isolate his nation, to confuse and alienate his allies, and to diminish America.”

Uhlmann described Trump as “an uneasy, lonely, awkward figure” at the gathering of world leaders in Hamburg, Germany.

“And you got the strong sense that some of the leaders are trying to find the best way to work around him,” Uhlmann said.

The U.S. president has a “particular skill set,” Uhlmann said. “He’s identified an illness in Western democracies, but he has no cure for it and seems intent on exploiting it.”

“He has no desire and no capacity to lead the free world,” Uhlmann continued.

The president had an opportunity to put pressure on Russia and China by delivering a G-20 statement condemning North Korea’s nuclear provocations, he said.

“Other leaders expected it,” Uhlmann said. “They were prepared to back it, but it never came.”

Uhlmann acknowledged that Trump’s speech in Poland ahead of the G-20 summit was well received, but argued that it didn’t reveal Trump’s true feelings about the world because it was written for him.

“There’s a tendency among some hopeful souls to confuse the speeches written for Trump with the thoughts of the man himself — he did make some interesting, scripted observations in Poland about defending the values of the West,” Uhlmann said. “And he’s in a unique position. He’s the one man who has the power to do something about it. But it’s the unscripted Trump that’s real.”

Uhlmann pointed to Trump’s tweets as the real window into the president’s unvarnished self.

“[He is] a man who barks out bile in 140 characters, who wastes his precious days as president at war with the West’s institutions — like the judiciary, independent government agencies and the free press,” Uhlmann said.

Chris Uhlmann (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Chris Uhlmann (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

“Donald Trump’s a man who craves power because it burnishes his celebrity,” Uhlmann added. “To be constantly talking and talked about is all that really matters, and there is no value placed on the meaning of words — so what’s said one day can be discarded the next.”

“Some will cheer the decline of America” on the world stage, Uhlmann concluded, “but I think we’ll miss it when it’s gone.”

Earlier Sunday, Trump declared the G-20 was a “great success,” saying he “strongly pressed” Russian President Vladimir Putin on Moscow’s meddling in the U.S. election, that Putin “vehemently” denied involvement by the Kremlin, and that “it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia!”

Trump also shared a video of highlights of his meetings with various world leaders — as well as those of his daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump.

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